……….with a whimper. Last week I did something to my already tight calves which meant lots of limping on Thursday and complete rest on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday morning I was feeling better and headed to my local yoga studio for a more chilled out flow class. It was great for stretching and relaxing – exactly what I needed. Sunday afternoon was a full body workout at the gym including one whole mile of running on the treadmill. This mile was pretty slow but I only felt a slight twinge in my calf. My plan was to take another full day of rest (and to deal with post-gym DOMS) on Monday and then try 3 miles on Tuesday. Because this week in WEEK ONE of marathon training! Woohoo! Well woohoo! in my mind. Mentally, I am totally ready to dive in to a full marathon training session (I spent Sunday evening drinking wine, watching Downton Abbey and putting together my marathon training plan). Unfortunately, my body is not quite on the same page.
I’ve decided to use a modified version of Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 plan but incorporating some of the things I learned from the Pfitzinger book – specifically adding in some tempo and fast finish long runs. The mileage should top out around 50 (which is a little more than last time) with one tempo-ish workout per week. I also have 4 (!) races scheduled between now and May 16th (M-Day) that I had to work into the schedule. Yay for racing! I think that if I had been in better (not injured) shape I would have totally committed to the Pfitzinger plan, but considering where my body is at right now I think that this would have been an injury in the making -> Day 1 is an 8 mile run with 4 miles at half marathon pace! So I’m pretty happy with my plan and excited to see where I can get to in 18 weeks. My current goal is to PR and in the later stages of training I’ll see where I am in terms of running a BQ. I’m torn between wanting to get more marathon race experience – and – just gunning for that sub 3.35 time. I feel like I’ll have a better idea of where I stand with some serious mileage behind me -> this time I’m planning on two 20 milers and one 22 miler.
As for the calf? Well it was feeling a ton better by Monday. And on Tuesday I got to try out my new gym after work. The weights area was crazy packed but surprisingly I had my choice of treadmills. I started out just fine but after a while my calf decided to let me know that it was not happy! It isn’t a bad pain – just uncomfortable-ness (word?). This is a hard choice for me. When I went to my physiotherapist last year I was surprised that she never told me just to stop running. Even though I had knee pain that required about 6 months of exercises to cure I was given the go-ahead to run through it all. The caveat was that the pain should never be higher than 3 on a pain scale of 10. If I had been doctoring myself I would have wimped out and stopped completely. My current thinking is that a little bit of constant pain (i.e. it doesn’t get more painful as the run progresses and never gets higher than a 2-3) is OK.
I decided to see how outdoor running felt this morning (clean air!!!!!) -> it’s awesome! Again a slight uncomfortable-ness in my left calf but low on the pain scale and it didn’t seem to be affecting my gait. I have been rolling with my stick all day (+ compression calf sleeves) and it is feeling so much better – and completely different to the pain of last Wednesday. The plan for the immediate future is to keep running unless the pain starts to get worse, but to keep everything at a pretty easy pace. The marathon is a long way away and part of me feels a little foolish for even running at all. So I’m trying to find a balance between being a little braver and trying not to be too foolish. At times like this I wish I could trade my PhD for an MD……….